2010 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters

John D WeltyJohn D. Welty

John D. Welty, president of California State University (CSU) Fresno, received the Western Illinois University Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Western's Spring Commencement Exercises Saturday, May 15.

The Honorary Doctorate is the highest award Western Illinois University can bestow upon an individual who has made significant contributions to his/her career and to Western Illinois University.

Welty, a 1965 WIU graduate, has been president of CSU-Fresno since July 29, 1991. He is also a professor in the Kremen School of Education & Human Development. Fresno State enrolls more than 21,000 students and offers 61 undergraduate degrees, 45 master degree programs and two doctoral degrees. During his tenure at CSU, the university has completed a major planning effort, expanded minority enrollment, created an Honors College, revised its general education requirements, introduced service learning into the curriculum and expanded community service opportunities for students, added new academic programs and institutes, and constructed $404.3 million in facilities, including a new library.

"Dr. Welty's contributions and dedication to higher education and his outstanding support of Western Illinois University are to be commended. It is with great pride that we bestow upon Dr. Welty WIU's honorary doctorate," said WIU President Al Goldfarb.

Welty has served on both of the CSU System's major strategic planning efforts, and he participated in the creation of the Voluntary System of Accountability, which has been adopted by more than 200 colleges and universities. A national leader in higher education, Welty has served on several advisory groups to the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture, and is past-chair of the Renaissance Group, a national organization of more than 30 Universities dedicated to improved teacher education programs. He co-chaired CSU’s effort to create CALState Teach, an innovative program designed for emergency credentialed teachers and chaired a CSU group on preparing educational leaders. He serves as chair of the CSU Gender Equity Monitoring Committee and also serves on the executive board of the Central California Campus Compact. In addition, Welty has chaired three national conferences on substance abuse and prevention and chaired a CSU effort to review alcohol policies and programs.

He was elected to serve as Commissioner of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 2000 and served a three-year term as the WASC Commission Chair. Welty is past chair of the American Humanics, Inc. Board and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Board of Directors. He served on the NCAA Board Executive Committee and the special NCAA Task Force on the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics. In his community, Welty has been a leader in establishing the Fresno Business Council, the Central Valley Business Incubator, the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, the Collaborative Regional Initiative, the Regional Jobs Initiative, the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute and several other partnerships.

In 1999, Welty was presented the Chief Executive Leadership Award by the Council for Advancement and Support for Education and was recognized by the John Templeton Foundation for his leadership in Student Character Development in Schools and Colleges. In 2001, he was recognized by the California State Student Association as President of the year, and in 2003, he received the Fresno Business Council's Excellence in Public Service Award. In 2007, he received the Fresno Compact’s Harold H. Haak Award for Outstanding Business Partnership Educator of the Year. One year later, he was named an American Humanics 60th Anniversary Honoree. Last year, Welty was named an American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Educational Leadership Foundation Diamond Honoree, and he recently received the Sequoia Award from the Great Valley Center.

Previously, Welty served as president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for seven years. Prior to assuming the presidency of IUP, he served as vice president for student and university affairs for four years.

"It is especially appropriate to honor a Western Illinois University graduate who has had such a productive and meaningful career in higher education," said WIU Provost Jack Thomas.

A native of Amboy (IL), Welty has served as an admissions counselor at Michigan State University, East Lansing, and as assistant vice president for student affairs at Southwest State University in Marshall, MN. At the State University of New York, Albany, he was director of residences, associate dean for student affairs and assistant professor of counseling and student development.

Welty received his master's degree in College Student Personnel Services from Michigan State University and his doctorate in Administration of Higher Education from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Welty and his wife, Sharon Brown-Welty, have five children and three grandchildren.

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